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Album review: Ariana Grande channels Mariah Carey in release of ‘Yours Truly’

945641164The sugary sweetness in Ariana Grande’s (Grande-Butera’s) voice is enough to give you a cavity, and her debut album, “Yours Truly,” will keep dentists worldwide in business.

It’s hard to discuss Grande’s grand voice absent of Mariah Carey analogies, and, undoubtedly, the pitch of Ariana’s voice can easily be mistaken for Mimi. Additionally, the formula of her songs on Tuesday’s release is a carbon copy of the Mariah method, beginning as a tune easy to sing along and ending as a solo for your dog whistle.

However, she is not Carey, who is more than twice Grande’s senior, and in the market of songstresses blessed with the ability to sing in octaves of heavenly proportions, Grande must find her niche. Whether “Yours Truly” does so is debatable.

Her single off the album, “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller, is perhaps the honors thesis to “Yours Truly.” The song, similar to the entire album, dedicates itself to young love, young men and young hope accompanied by a simple R&B backtrack, smooth piano and finger snaps on the downbeat. This gives Grande leeway and room to skate through as many musical scales as possible before being expected to come in for the chorus.

In contrast, “Piano” makes for a joyful, Rihanna-esque club song that inches away from the Mariah mantra, but it relapses in “Daydreamin’.”

However, it is Grande’s collaboration with quirky, falsetto aficianado MIKA that would put Mandy Moore’s “Candy” to shame. A spin-off the song made famous by the character of Glinda in Broadway hit “Wicked,” “Popular Song” is still proof of Grande’s talent while also exhibiting an ability to not take herself too seriously, something that I can finally say is unlike Mariah Carey. And the song is catchy — so, so catchy.

The sweetest treats can be destroyed by terrible delivery, though, and unfortunately, “Yours Truly” is similar to cupcakes toppled over in their package. Instead of distinct, unique songs, the album seems to run as one continuous track, mixing one song’s frosting with the one next to it.

Grande’s album gives into the Mariah mold, somewhat expected for any R&B female singer who can reach three octaves above middle C. Grande is talented — there is no debate there. However, I don’t want the treats if each song isn’t enjoyable standing alone.

Grade: B

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